Coarsegold Dollar General pushed back to review traffic concerns

Traffic impacts of a proposed 9,100 square-foot Dollar General store, at the northeast corner of Highway 41 and Road 417, need additional review before the project could be potentially approved, the Madera County Planning Commission decided at a public hearing Tuesday night.

A date hasn’t been set for when county staff, working with the project’s developer Embree Asset Group of Phoenix, will return with updated information that could prove necessary for the commission’s go-ahead on the discount retail store.

As reported on last week by the Sierra Star, (click here for the story), county planners mostly found minor to no impacts related to the project, with no significant issues marked on an 86-point check-off list.

However, perhaps after receiving five public letters denouncing the store’s location for added congestion to Road 417, which residents said serves as a main route for those in Indian Lakes as well as the area’s fire station, the commission directed staff to further review of those factors.

“We’re not sure about a date, but we’ll bring it back depending on when the applicants can do some review and when we can look at information about these things,” said Joey Dinh, county planner. “We’re working with them on all of that.”

Along with that list, 33 “Conditions of Approval” are required of the project, including a left-hand turning lane on Road 417 to enter the store’s 30-space parking lot, meeting California codes for fire safety, a full landscaping and irrigation plan, and more.

The store, if built, will have an estimated 100 or more customers a day, and employ four workers per shift with two 8-hour shifts per day, according to a checklist submitted to the county by John Shields of the Embree Asset Group.

The five-member commission, appointed by the Madera County Board of Supervisors, could decide to approve the project whenever it returns for a vote.

If approved, there would be a 15-day appeal period. If appealed, the project would then go before the Board of Supervisors for discussion and potential approval or denial.

A formal letter, along with a fee of $336, must be sent to the Madera County Planning Department to file that appeal.

With no appeal, the proposed one-story store on 1.2 acres would be sent to the county’s building department for additional studies prior to beginning construction.

The complete 93-page county report on the project can be seen by going to and downloading it, in PDF format, by clicking on “item 1.”